Bank Secrecy: What Concerns Businessmen?

As a result of the elimination of banking secrecy in Guatemala, the business sector announces that it will be alert to "respect due process and the confidentiality of taxpayers.

Monday, September 16, 2019

One year after having suspended access to taxpayers' bank information for fiscal purposes, at the beginning of August the Constitutional Court ruled definitively and revoked the suspension, so that in the coming weeks the changes will begin to apply.

Waleska Sterkel, executive director of the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), told Prensalibre.com that "... Guatemala must assume this type of legislation so that the country is not considered in a negative way as a "tax haven", however, AmCham will be vigilant to respect due process and confidentiality of taxpayers."

Manuel Mejicanos Jiménez, Legal Intendant of the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT), explained that "... the main fears or concerns raised" by the businessmen lie in observing legal mechanisms that guarantee 'the safeguarding of confidential information'."

The issue has been on hold since August 2018, when the country's highest court temporarily suspended the article of the law that in Guatemala facilitated access to banking information of companies with a court order at the request of the tax authorities.

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More on this topic

Removal of Bank Secrecy Applies

November 2019

Since November 26, the Guatemalan authorities have the power to access taxpayers' bank information for tax purposes, so they can now corroborate that the bank income of companies coincide with the payment of their taxes.

After the resolution of the Constitutional Court was published in the Diario de Centroamérica on November 25, in which the appeal of unconstitutionality filed by Escalas Mercantiles S.A., which was intended to prevent the authorities from having access to the banking information of companies and individuals, the law that empowers the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) to investigate taxpayers has come into effect.

Bank Secrecy: Can the Court's Decision Be Reversed?

August 2019

Experts and authorities believe that the ruling by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court revoking the suspension preventing access to taxpayers' bank information for fiscal purposes could be reversed with another legal action.

In recent days, the issue has become more relevant in the country, because after a year of being suspended access to banking information for tax purposes, on August 6 the Constitutional Court finally ruled, authorizing the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) to review the accounts of taxpayers.

Court Decision Eliminates Bank Secrecy

August 2019

One year after the suspension of taxpayers' access to bank information for tax purposes, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court ruled definitively and revoked the suspension.

The issue had been on hold since August 2018, when the country's highest court temporarily suspended the article of the law that in Guatemala granted companies access to banking information with a court order at the request of the tax authorities.

Banking Confidentiality and International Perception

June 2019

In its next evaluation, the OECD could lower Guatemala's rating, because in August last year access to bank information with a court order was suspended, which could lead to an increase in the credit price.

In August 2018, the article of the law that in Guatemala facilitated access to banking information of companies with a court order at the request of the tax authorities was temporarily suspended.

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